Can our clothes make us feminists? Or are savvy female designers using morals to sell more?
I saw this post about 'feminist underwear' and was immediately intrigued. "Feminist lingerie is the body positive underwear we've been waiting for" screamed the headline, now as you know I am both a proud feminist and also a big champion of women being body positive and so I clicked on the link, unsure as to what I was about to see. Neon Moon is a kickstarter fund to create a feminist lingerie brand that does not sexualise or objectify girls. All good so far, right?
"By taking the time to support Neon Moon's campaign you are making a statement to the world that you want change, and your voice will be heard!" - Hayat Rachi, CEO and Founder of Neon Moon... Ok, fab, tell me more!
Using 'real' models these bra and knickers are supposedly promoted with an ethos of empowerment, body confidence and the non-objectification of women. Models were asked not to shave and were chosen for their average sizing and there is no photoshopping in the adverts.
Photograph - Via Pinterest Neon Moon
The premise of the bras sounds great, yet I have a few issues with the actual products. They have no underwires and use soft cup bamboo fabrics and disturbingly the size Large is just a UK 12-14.
As a size 16 myself I am upset and to be honest, appalled, that this 'feminist brand' is not including women who are at the UK average size. I think part of the issue with body issues and fashion is feeling that you are not catered for. This brand can't profess to be about body confidence whilst telling their audience that being a size 12 is large and if you are a 16 or over that you cannot buy this product.
The collection "does not incorporate any padding, push-up, or wired attributes, the Bamboo fabric and shape is designed to work around the body, instead of the other way around."
I have a huge issue with the idea that underwired and more supportive underwear is in some way against feminism? I have massive boobs, these puppies need support. Not to make me attractive to other people, not to present my breasts in a certain way, but because the flesh in my breasts feels better when it is in a supportive, underwired bra.
When we come to the idea of advertising in a way that doesn't sexualise women, I feel a little confused. Who is decided what is sexualised these days? If you are showing items of clothes that fit around genitals and breasts then you are probably going to get someone who finds any image a bit sexy. Asking the models not to shave seems a bit patronising to me, as if hairy pits are the epitome of what a feminist is. I am a huge fan of using models of all different sizes and shapes but it feels awkward for this company to have used women who aren't a typical model 6 but then not cater to the larger women out there.
My other issue is that I feel the brand is suggesting that if you wear lacy or silky undies, that you are in some way not a feminist. I can assure you that the style of my knickers does not affect my beliefs that men and women should be treated equally. Women's rights are about choice, and if I choose to wear a black satin bra or a ruffled lace knickers and stockings, it is not because I want to perform sexually for men. I wear them because I want to, because they make me feel beautiful. The idea that I have to wear bamboo, ugly, ill fitted underwear to be a strong woman is laughable!
This feels like a company using the idea of feminism to sell a product and that kind of sucks. The company have reached their goal on the kickstarted page and so perhaps they will develop their ideas and sizing further, but I am afraid currently Neon Moon is not for me, not only because I can't fit my ass in their pants and that I would knock out small children if I attempted to wear their bras but because I just don't like the product.
I am ALL about the body confidence, but that means choice. I can choose to wear the sexiest underwear out there, it is not a reason for others to make a judgement on me.
Size wise, all companies need to realise that they can't refuse to cater for a large section of society without pissing those people off!
What do you think?